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Hanukah on the lighter side - menu ideas?

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My mother and I are hosting the Hanukah party this year. We decided we're tired of the heavy fried foods normally served for the holiday, and instead of latkes, we're going with crepes, served with the blackberry jam I made this past summer.

What would you serve with crepes? We're thinking, light, girlie food, pardon the lack of political correctness! Obama-friendly food, maybe? Anywho I'd love some suggestions for party food that complements crepes. Thanks in advance!

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  1. i like the crepe idea, but you can also do lighter latkes - they honestly don't have to be fried in tons of oil to be good!

    anyway, i don't know if it necessarily "goes" with crepes, but for a lighter, satisfying main you certainly can't go wrong with a perfect, simple roast chicken. growing up we had it every Friday night for Shabbos dinner - it always makes me think of traditional Jewish meals.

    you could also do roasted salmon, maybe with dill or tarragon, shallots and white wine.

    roasted or sautéed green beans would be a perfect side dish for either chicken or salmon.

    1. oven baked latkes, perhaps? a friend of mine made these last year and they were actually pretty fabulous. of course, i drowned mine in sour cream to negate any of the health benefits of baking. :) you could also try latke recipes with turnip, zucchini or cauliflower mixed in.

      i like goodhealthgourmet's idea of roast chicken. perhaps that or roast duck would actually go well inside the crepe with, say, cherry preserves, rather than just alongside. or serve shredded poultry over latkes?

      it might be fun to do a tapas style meal with all appetizers, including olives. end with an oven baked sufganiyot (i.e. this: http://www.1stholistic.com/RecipeSufg...).

      2 Replies
      1. re: cimui

        I tried the website but it doesn't come up. If you have the recipe would you please share it? Thank you

        1. re: paprkutr

          sure, sorry the link doesn't work. i'll try again: http://www.1stholistic.com/Recipes/re...

          Ingredients:

          1 cup skim milk
          2 tablespoons unsalted butter
          1/4 cup sugar
          1 teaspoon salt
          1 large egg
          3 1/2 cups (420 grams) all-purpose flour, lightly sprinkled into measuring cup
          2 tablespoons instant yeast

          Syrup:

          2 cups sugar
          3/4 cup water

          Sugar coating and filling:

          1/4 cup sugar
          1 jar seedless raspberry or grape jam

          Directions

          Heat the milk and butter in a medium pot over medium heat until the butter melts.

          Stir in the sugar and salt.

          Let cool to 120-degrees Fahrenheit (very warm, but not enough to sting your finger).

          In a large mixer bowl, whisk the egg. Gradually whisk in the milk mixture.

          In a separate bowl, mix 2 cups of the flour with the yeast. Add the flour to the egg mixture, and beat it for 2 minutes on a medium speed.

          Stir in the remaining flour to form a soft batter. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes or until doubled in volume.

          Grease 24 mini-muffin cups (2 pans). Dip your hands in the flour so that your hand is coated and turn the dough out onto a worktable lightly spread with the flour. Roll the dough lightly into a log. Cut off small pieces and form the dough into balls, about one inch in diameter.

          Place 1 ball in each muffin cup. Spray 2 pieces of plastic wrap with cooking spray. Place over the muffin pans and let the dough rise for 30 minutes.

          Preheat the oven to 375-degrees with the rack in the middle of the oven. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until the donuts are lightly browned. Turn the donuts out onto a cooling rack.

          While the dough is baking, prepare the syrup. Combine the sugar and water in a medium pot. Stir, and heat over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved. Increase the heat and boil the syrup for 5 minutes to thicken it. Turn heat to low, and keep the syrup warm.

          Toss the warm donuts in the sugar syrup. Remove the donuts with a slotted spoon, and roll them in the sugar.

          Fit a pastry bag with a 1/4-inch plain (round) tube. Fill the bag with the jam. Poke a hold in the side of each donut with the pastry tip. squeeze the bag, and fill each donut with jam. Serve as soon as possible.

          If you want to make them more than 2 hours ahead, delay dipping them in syrup and rolling in sugar until almost ready to serve. Unsugared, they can be frozen for up to 3 months. Reheat them, covered with foil, in a 350-degree over for 15 minutes, then dip in sugar syrup and roll in sugar.

          Makes 24 small donuts.

      2. Ummmm isn't the food supposed to be cooked in oil? That's kind of the whole point of the holiday isn't it? It's once a year, stuff that blackberry jam into some Sufganiot and enjoy the treat.

        1 Reply
        1. re: lulubelle

          There are a few food traditions ... cooking with olive oil and using dairy specifically cheeses. Both relate to the beginning battles of the Hasmonean dynasty.

        2. I have a recipe for baked sufganiyot if you're interested. I haven't made it yet, so I can't vouch for it, but it looks great. You can use your blackberry jam inside those.

          Also, my mom bakes edjeh, which is similar to latkes.

          1. how about crepes rolled up with a spread of goat cheese and smoked salmon?

            1 Reply
            1. re: bcc

              love this idea. you could also do this over latkes or even a chickpea pancake like a few restaurants in nyc serve it.

            2. I assume this is going to be a milk meal, right?

              My first suggestion would be that you could turn your crepes into blintzes by stuffing them with some farmer's cheese and putting the jam on top. For a main course (with either blintzes or crepes) start with small slices of a vegetable quiche of some sort--I particularly like spinach and cheese quiches--along with a big lovely salad.

              One tip: the blintzes are often pan-fried (so you're doing the Hanukkah oil thing) but in just a light coating of oil so they're not heavy.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Euonymous

                Crêpes and blintzes are very similar - you can serve either stuffed with some ricotta, mushrooms, spinach etc. Of course you can do the crêpes with olive oil, and you don't need a lot.

                Obviously Jews in the Middle East didn't eat potatoes; they were unknown until contact with the Americas, and never became as important in Mediterranean (Sephardi, Mizrahi etc) cuisine as in that of central and northeastern Europe. Other than Claudia Roden's magnum opus, Joyce Goldstein has brought out three lovely books on Mediterranean Jewish cuisines and you will find plenty of dishes that aren't so heavy.

                Conversely, the Viennese way of lightening up heavy meals was to serve a lot of chopped and grated salads. Light is relative if they feature sour cream but not all do and often you can substitute yoghourt (though not fat-free, please!)

                Operagirl, crêpes aren't diet food, but they are a perfectly reasonable thing to eat if made with healthful flour and a nutritious filling. When you get the hang of them and have a well-seasoned (or non-stick) pan, they really don't take a lot of fat.

              2. How about not-potatoe Latkes? I've collected receipes for zucchini, sweet potato, and cauliflower. Search chowhound and epicurious.com as many of them came from magazines. Saute them in minimal oil and serve with 2 or 0% Fage yogurt instead of sour cream.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Stuffed Monkey

                  The only light part of my Chanukah is in the Menorah. This is a MAJOR guilt-free pig out (poor choice of words) for me. Nothing but cholesterol, carbs and calories. I love homemade applesauce on my latkes instead of sour cream. Bring on the gelt.

                2. Don't get me wrong, I love latkes as much as the next girl. And we're not necessarily thinking low-calorie -- crepes aren't diet food, especially with some blackberry jam and powdered sugar on top. This isn't about fried-food-guilt, we just want to have a different kind of menu this year. Just wanted to clear that up =)

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: operagirl

                    operagirl ... any menu that includes homemade jam, crepes, powdered sugar and family, is good. Food guilt is good - it adds lots of flavor.

                  2. What about an olive-oil poached salmon or chicken?